How to Calculate Donated Household Goods for an Income Tax Deduction

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When you donate used items to charity, you can take a tax deduction on property that was in good condition. This means it was in good enough condition to give to a close friend or relative. The total value of your these donations will be included with your total charitable contributions reported as a line item deduction on Schedule A of your Form 1040 tax return.

Create a spreadsheet and input each household good you donated. Include columns for item description, item condition, date donated, charity donated to and fair market value.

Visit the thrift stores you donated to and get price lists for items they sell. If you did not donate your household good to a thrift store, visit various thrift stores in your city to get price lists and calculate an average price.

Write the thrift store sale price on the fair market value column of your spreadsheet for each household item in good condition you donated. Items donated that were not in good condition yet were worth $500 or more must have a qualified appraisal.

Add the fair market values at the end of your list to calculate your total donated household goods portion of your charitable contributions.

Tips

  • Donations must be made to a qualified organization such as a church or nonprofit charitable organization to count toward tax deductions. Attach your spreadsheet of charitable contributions and receipts to a copy of your completed tax return.

Warnings

  • You may be penalized by the IRS if you overstate the value of your donations and underpay your taxes.

References

About the Author

Yolanda Brown has been writing business-related material since 2005. She owns two businesses and currently publishes "Cardinal Rules," a resource of business-building tips for small- to medium-sized firms. Brown holds a Master of Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Photo Credits

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